House Speaker David Gowan is dropping out of Republican primary for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, his longtime advisor, Constantin Querard, confirmed today.
Gowan announced he was seeking the nomination to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in October 2015, but floundered in recent fundraising reports and remained near the bottom of polls in the district.
The speaker is subject to an ongoing investigation by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office due to his use of state vehicles for personal and campaign purposes. The travel came to light as part of an Arizona Capitol Times investigation into increased use of state vehicles by Gowan and several other House representatives and staffers. Gowan later repaid the state more than $12,000 for mileage and per diem reimbursements he wrongfully received for trips that he took in state vehicles and for days he claimed to work but did not.
Gowan is the second Republican candidate to withdraw from the race: Republican state Sen. Carlyle Begay ended his bid for the nomination in the hotly contested district in June.
The district, which spans from Four Corners through Flagstaff and Sedona and into the northern suburbs of Tucson, is one of the most competitive in the country.
The five remaining Republican candidates in the race include Kiehne, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, former fighter pilot Wendy Rogers, Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, and businessman Shawn Redd.
Democrats Tom O’Halleran and Miguel Olivas are competing for the Democratic nomination.